Tarik Rahman

Learning to Read Piano Music Notation

Tarik Rahman
Learning to Read Piano Music Notation

One of the first tasks you will undertake in your beginners’ piano lessons will be to learn to read music notation.

This task may seem daunting, but with the right method and guidance you will progress through your piano lessons quickly, efficiently, and most importantly - accurately.

Method books: The most common way to learn to read piano music is to progress through a piano method book. There are many of these books available, and they all share a common premise. They start off with very basic, simple piano pieces, using only one or two fingers and lasting only a few seconds. Very gradually, they progress to longer and more complex piano pieces.

These piano method books use many different strategies, and there is constant debate among piano teachers as to which piano method book is the best.

The truth: no piano method book is perfect.

This is where your piano teacher comes in. It is essential for your piano teacher to supplement extra material, advice, and instruction, in order for you to build a well-rounded approach to reading music and a strong foundation on the piano.

Our piano teachers are highly intuitive, making subtle changes to their teaching methods and techniques depending on the strengths and weaknesses of their individual students.

Here are some general tips to keep in mind when learning to read piano notation:

  • Read through the piece in your mind before you begin. Can you visualize which fingers will be moving, and when?

  • Go slowly. By taking the time to look ahead at each note before your finger presses the key, you can play any piece perfectly upon the first reading.

  • Maintain intense focus, for short periods of time. In the early stages of learning a piece, we want to avoid errors at all costs. If you find your focus waning, immediately stop and take a two to five minute break.


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